My life mission of the moment, that is. I don’t think I have enough hubris, right now, to think that this life mission will always be my life mission. (Though honestly, I can only imagine it being similar.)
It’s something like this: To stay engaged. To fill my work with meaning.
And then there’s this other part…
This part where I understand how human beings are pack animals. How deep down, we are social and need connection to survive, and even more than that, how we are creative, every single one of us, how we crave new ideas and new experiences. Yes, we fear change. But we still build. We still dream. We push forward, even as we feel our safety is rooted in things staying the same.
But our safety isn’t rooted in things staying the same.
Maybe that was true when we lived in the wilderness, and staying out of a predator’s territory was a protective impulse. Maybe it was true when there were warring tribes, keeping each other at bay. Maybe it was true when we were without reliable ways of sharing and disseminating information, learning (by ourselves!) at astonishing rates, or when we weren’t capable of connecting with one other person across the planet with a few clicks of a mouse or the whir of a webcam (or an IM, or a text, or a poke).
Now we do. And we can. And so now, the game is changed.
That creative nature we’ve been driven by is at the forefront now. We are free to grow ourselves without the consent of any institution the minute we have access to the internet. With that one tool, we can build anything we can imagine. The steps from living on the street with a laptop to standing on the roof of your very own highrise are quantifiable now. Every journey is different, and every person has their own strengths. But we are so very much more powerful now than we’ve ever been, in the history of the world.
Now, safe means letting ourselves tap into that. Safe means learning and growing and changing and becoming better people, helping our communities become better, letting the tide rise so that everyone experiences some kind of positive impact.
I’ll bet you can imagine how that makes me feel. It thrills me. It fills me with this crazy, deep, abiding meaning, this feeling I don’t entirely understand and have often been driven by without really knowing where I was going. I still don’t know where I’m going, and this thing is still driving me.
It was that feeling that made me build That Idea Blueprint Girl, even knowing that it was just a step I was taking in the grander scheme of things. And so this next step—Ideaschema, which you may already have come across in the last few days—may also be just a step I’m taking in the grander scheme of things. But this step, by God, is scalable. And I have such plans.
I’ve explained already that I wasn’t expecting it to move this quickly, but who can predict something like this? It’s like an act of nature. It is an act of nature, it’s a result of somehow being tapped into the bigger picture in a way that maybe human brains aren’t even meant to entirely comprehend. (Or maybe I’m not that enlightened yet. Who knows?) This sort of event is what fuels me. This is what I live for. So when it wants to happen, I help it happen. Maybe it’s fate. Whatever it is, it makes me profoundly happy—keeps me engaged, gives me meaning, makes my world turn.
So I have all of this going on in my head… and I look around me, and all I see are unhappy people.
They’re unhappy and they don’t know why. They’re unhappy because they feel stuck, they feel like they don’t have options, they feel like they must follow a particular set of rules in their work and living out their lives and they expect to continue doing that until the day they die. Even in people behaving normally, smiling, talking, I see these little signs of unhappiness. Little echoes that tell me these people are resigned to following the rules, because that’s all they know. Their innate creativity has been quashed. They are people in chains, going through the motions, living in some kind of freaky real-life Matrix.
And maybe throughout human history those people mostly just had to stay where they were, but that’s not the case anymore. Maybe throughout human history the percentage of people who could rise out of their ruts was tiny, maybe it was infinitesimal. Maybe that’s why we have famous historical figures, people who did the unexpected. But now is so different. Now is so different, now we have this one tool we never had before, and the things you can do with this tool, if it’s not already blowing your mind, I promise it will.
This silly internet thing, we go on and on about it but we never really understand what it means.
It means that you’re free to do that thing you wanted to do when you were twelve.
It means you can say to hell with your job because you can make a new one. From scratch. By yourself.
It means—this amazes me, I still haven’t gotten used to this—it means that if disaster strikes enough times to put me out on the street and broke, all I will need to build myself back up is a laptop, an internet connection, and a friend’s couch to live on for awhile. I have never been more sure in my life of that statement. I can’t even get used to typing it, it amazes me so. Because then I wonder why I’m ever afraid at all, if that’s true. And then I know it’s true, and the fear goes away.
The thing is, I want those unhappy people to know. I want you to know. I want you to feel this way. I’m only a few steps into this bigger journey I’m taking, and the effects it’s having on my life are so astonishing. I have never felt so free or so powerful. I’m not making gobs of money. I’m not living in a ranch house in the country. But I feel incredibly alive, and I know that the part where it gets easier—where there’s a little more money available, where we’re not constantly pushing forward to make sure the rent gets paid—is very close.
It’s close because it all depends on me, and because I care enough to do something about it.
It’s incredibly important to me that you understand this part.
You can do this too. Your neighbor Arlene can do this too. Your son can learn this as he grows, your father-in-law can start a business in his garage, and goddammit, if you’re unhappy, you can find the thing that makes you happy and you can do it.
All you have to do is believe you can, and try!
So I made this thing.
I did it in three weeks. I busted my ass to get it out before I left for New York. (I only mostly succeeded—I’m writing this from my Aunt’s apartment in Chelsea.) And I think, I hope, oh man, I really believe it might be what you need to get yourself started.
It’s a way for you to remember how creative you are, and a system you can use to generate the kind of ideas you need to move in the direction you’re craving. It explains how to generate those ideas, and how to plan them, and how to put them together so that they’re ready to be expressed, and how to actually express them, whatever that means: A business making felt flower hats. A copywriting service. Your dream of running a salon, that band you wanted to put together, or that one evening when you got together with friends and had some beer and suddenly realized that if you worked together, you could really make something of yourselves. Any of it. All of it. You can actually do it. Don’t let anyone else tell you that you can’t.
If there is any chance it will help you, you can look at the Idea Catalyst Kit. It launched yesterday and today, and a lot of people I respect have said some pretty amazing things about it. (Some of the testimonials that came in honestly surprised the hell out of me, but it was very gratifying.)
It’s discounted so that anyone can afford it, and I’m waiting to see what else I can do to help. Because this really means something to me, do you see?
Whatever all of this is, it matters to me.
It matters to me that you have what you need to act.
That you get out there and do that thing you’ve been wanting to do.
And then you can be happier, you know?
That’s what I’m waiting for.